Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Like a Fish Out of Water (10/24/13)
- TITLE: Uncomfortable Fate?
By Linda Gage
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The son’s home was a prison. He felt trapped and couldn’t take it any longer so he demanded his freedom and his share of the inheritance. Going against all that was proper, his father granted both. The son left without saying good bye, leaving behind everything he ever knew. He ran as far away from his home as he could and didn’t look back.
The fish landed with a thud, no longer surrounded by water. He saw the glass bowl in the distance and began to wriggle his fins. Not getting very far, he squirmed with vigor. His blue-green fins glistened as he flopped and flailed on the ground. His dampness allowed him to ‘breathe,’ so it wasn’t too uncomfortable.
The son breathed easier now that he was out from under his father’s thumb, with no one to tell him where to go, what to do or what to think. Money was spilling out of his pockets and begging to be spent. He bought women for fun and drank until he passed out. Night after night he did all the things his depraved mind only dreamed about while he was entrapped at home. It felt like freedom. It felt good.
The fish found it was harder to move and breathe. His sparkle had faded. With all his might he concentrated on moving those fins. A single jump got him out; a single jump could get him back in. But his chest was rising and falling slower now. The flailing reduced to minute spasms. Suddenly he realized that he was alone; whatever that meant to a fish. This was uncomfortable.
A sharp kick to the ribs awakened the son. The sunlight indicated that he was late. With his money long gone, no food and no place to live he had to take up the farmer’s offer of work. This was uncomfortable but it was his only hope. He was in the field feeding pigs, while his own stomach roared with hunger. The pigs were eating and he was starving to death! Intense hunger pangs made him crave the pig’s slop. He reached for a handful.
The dampness that had sustained the fish was gone. The shine from his fins vanished. His body twitched as he gasped for oxygen. The bowl looked fuzzy and even further away. He knew he did not belong there but did not know how to get back.
The son stared at his hand full of wet slurry slop. “I don’t belong here.”
Feelings of remorse and sadness overwhelmed him when he considered all of his actions. He knew he had done wrong and that he needed to ask for forgiveness. With only the clothes on his back he began the long journey home, wondering if his father would even allow him to be a servant.
Everything went black. Without anyone to pick him up being a ‘fish out of water’ is a death sentence.
The son saw his home in the distance and paused. At the same time the father saw him. With heart full of compassion the father ran to greet his son. In deep regret the son expressed his unworthiness. The father welcomed him with loving and saving arms. The Father called for a huge celebration because his son was lost but now he is found.
Like a fish out of water your soul will flop and flail uncomfortably trying to find purpose in this life until you accept that you cannot save yourself. Your sins will allow you to flounder until you turn away from them, look up and see God the Father who provides the ‘living water’ to save you; Jesus Christ! He is there for you with open forgiving, loving and saving arms.
Without Jesus to save you there’s a death sentence. It’s not too late until after the last breath is taken and everything goes black.
(Bible references: Luke 15:11-24, John 4:4-14, John 3:16-18)
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